Facilities Operations Standard Operating Procedure

Subject: Space Heaters
Date: October 21, 2009

Space Heaters Request Form

Policy: This policy establishes procedures for university departments to use when requesting approval for Space Heaters. All space heaters must be of the type specified by the Office of Safety and display the Facilities Operations Registration Number.

Introduction: Facility Operations provides heat to all campus facilities by use of steam produced at our Steam Plant. Most buildings use a central distribution system that allows occupants to adjust their workspace temperature with thermostats. In isolated instances, the building system may not be able to adequately heat all areas to a minimum of 70 degrees. In these instances, space heaters may be authorized for use by the Facilities Operations Department.

Administrative Oversight: Facilities Operations will determine if a space heater is warranted based on the needs of the department and the capability of the facility’s heating system.

The Office of Safety will:

  • Designate a space heater that complies with UL, the North Carolina Department of Insurance, and the North Carolina State Fire Codes for use in commercial facilities.
  • Inspect all space heaters during their annual building inspections and identify those that are not in compliance with this policy.

Factors Facilities Operations will consider when reviewing requests:
  • Is there adequate air flow to the space?
  • Are control valves properly working?
  • Is thermostat calibrated properly and in an appropriate location?
  • Is there adequate power available for the space heater?

Process to request use of Space Heater:
  1. Department completes attached request form and submits it to Facilities Operations.
  2. Justification for heater should include description of the condition in the space and any history of past problems.
  3. Request must be signed by the Department Head.

Process for approval:
  1. Facilities Operations Work Information Center will forward all requests to the Utility Manager for review.
  2. The appropriate shops will inspect the space and investigate the heating and control systems.
  3. If systems are performing as designed and adequate heat cannot be provided, the Electric Shop will determine if adequate power is available to support a space heater.
  4. If power is available, the Utility Manager will approve the request and assign a registration number.
  5. The registration along with the approval form will be returned to the department for their records. A copy will also be sent to the Office of Safety.
  6. Departments are to attach the registration number to the space heater so it will be visible.

Rules for use:
  • Heaters are to be used only as designed.
  • Heaters are to be turned off when occupant is out of the office.
  • Heaters are not to be plugged into an extension cord.
  • Heaters must be kept three (3) feet from combustible materials, including curtains.